.Jimi Hendrix and the 'Cry of Love' band
Live at the Civic Centre, Baltimore
13th June, 1970
Supported by Ballin' Jack and Cactus
Jimi Hendrix appeared, resplendent in a purple ruffled shirt, green bellbottoms, a silver-spangled vest that ended at the shoulder blades, a multicoloured headband that trailed down his neck, a bright silk scarf tied to his left arm, and a fringe belt that hung down his right leg, A white guitar with a leopard-skin strap completed the ensemble. The Yorkstown Light Show paled in comparison. For the Civic Center show, Hendrix brought with him bassist (Billy) Cox from the Gypsy band and drummer Mitch Mitchell, from the original Experience. Both are thoroughly supportive musicians (let's face it, no one is going to upstage Hendrix anyway, musically or visually - he's got the brightest clothes and most of the speakers) and Mitchell's drumming is a delight : quick, crisp and swinging. "The group was all business, starting out with a blues, and pausing only long enough at its conclusion for Hendrix to acknowledge the beginning of the applause before saying rapidly into the microphone "Hello, Baltimore, how are you" before moving on to the next number. They followed in rapid succession., "Machine Gun" from the 'Band Of Gypsys' album with Hendrix drumming out chords on his guitar and Mitchell answering with rapid fire rolls from the snare, "Hey Joe," "Foxy Lady," and a dozen or so others. Hendrix seems to have given up the sideshow antics, except for a brief few bars near the end of the concert when he played the guitar with his teeth, and such relatively subtle devices, for him anyway, as falling suggestively on the wah-wah pedal. Perhaps he doesn't need them anymore. Suggestion has replaced overstatement. That doesn't mean that Hendrix isn't still able to conjure up, with a slight turn of his wrist, awesome, searing audial power through his wraparound speaker set-up and then shut it off with a shrug of the shoulder. He is still able with the sullen unsmiling look - heavy business - to draw the fans down in front of the stage as he did at the end of the show at the Civic Center. It's just that music is now at the center of the group's presentation which is, of course, where it should be. And regardless what you might think of it, Hendrix's music, a combination of tough, bluesy vocal and instrumental delivery mixed with speaker feedback, is unlike any sound to be heard in contemporary rock. Hendrix concluded the concert with a tortured instrumental version of the "Star Spangled Banner" the like of which, it's safe to say, has never been witnessed in the birthplace of the national anthem. The audience, for what it's worth, exhibited a good deal more interest in the song than the usual Civic Center crowd waiting none too patiently for the basketball game to start. (Again , it may be that Hendrix is turning more political now.)
After a final number, one fist raised in the symbol of rebellion, the other giving the peace sign, Hendrix was off the stage as quickly as he had appeared. "Right on" shouted several people in the crowd. Nobody's Going To Upstage Hendrix ! [by James Dilts, Baltimore Sun, 21-6-1970]
The source of the post is an excellent audience recording captured on a Panasonic portable reel to reel tape recorder and has been ripped to mp3 (320kps). This bootleg has been released under a variety titles and artwork which I am also including in this post. I have also sourced some photos (thanks to Mike - Wilsonmcphert) and the Baltimore Civic Programme used to advertise the event.
Normally, audience recordings are fairly poor quality, but this one is an exception. Although there are some crowd noises the clarity of the music is first class and this bootleg is a must for any Hendrix collection. I particularly like his renditions of Machine Gun, Red House and Hear My Train A'Comin. It is sad to think that Jimi would be deceased some 3 months later - such a waste!
01. Pass It On
02. Lover Man
03. Machine Gun
04. Ezy Ryder
05. Red House
06. Message To Love
07. Hey Joe
09. Hear My Train A Comin'
10. Room Full Of Mirrors
11. Foxy Lady
12. Purple Haze
13. Star Spangled Banner
14. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) / Keep On Groovin'
Jimi Hendrix (Guitar, Vocals)
Billy Cox (Bass)
Mitch Mitchell (Drums)
Baltimore Link (204Mb) 12/04/2020